I remember reading a short story in an anthology sometime between the end of the 90's and the 2000's. It was the French translation of an English story, thus it could be much older.

I remember the story being about a group of archaeologists excavating ruins and discussing why the galactic empire hasn't contacted them after the apocalypse. What the apocalypse was is not said, only to find out that there is no galactic empire: all the clues they had uncovered came from science-fiction books.

I believe they find out by uncovering an almost intact science-fiction pulp magazine from the 50's or 60's, but I could be mistaken.


1 Answer 1


Sounds a bit like Lester del Rey To Avenge Man.

The archaeologists are robots which have been the only "life" on Earth since WW3. A set of sf stories which have survived convince them that mankind was destroyed by hostile extraterrestrials, maybe "Boskone" or "The Eich". They search the Galaxy seeking vengeance on Man's killers, but never find them. The researchers uncover the truth but destroy it so as not to rob robotkind of its "heritage".

  • It's available here for free at the internet archive.
    – Simpleton
    Mar 14, 2019 at 14:15
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    Good one, but that's not it. The archeologists were definitely human, and humanity had yet to leave Earth. They were digging some ruins in a nondescript place.
    – Sava
    Mar 14, 2019 at 20:13
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    @user14111 I did, it's a very nice one even if it's not the one I'm looking for. Sorry, I thought I had replied to you.
    – Sava
    Mar 14, 2019 at 22:28

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